Tuesday, September 30, 2008

That's what we call meat on my planet

IGN has a great piece on bad comic book turned movies. I'm truly curious to know if that unreleased 1994 version is worse than the '05 and '07 iteration.

As I was watching this horrible clip, I found myself unable to pull away. It was like being in a speeding, out of control car, and knowing you're going to crash into a telephone pole.

I also found the soundtrack seemed very familiar, and given that it's a Roger Corman production (king of the B-movies), I said to myself, "Self, didn't you see another Corman film when you were a kid with that same soundtrack?" Thanks to the internets, I can say "Yes." It was Corman's 'Battle Beyond the Stars'. Revel in the pre-A-Team George Peppard campy goodness.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mysterious Barack UK Underground ads

During a recent trip abroad to the UK, we took the tube (totally kicks BART's ass) and saw a series of billboards at various Underground stations.

One that generated the most curiosity was one of Barack Obama in front of 10 Downing Street given that our English cousins aren't casting any ballots.

I just learned that the ads were all part of a campaign launched by The Times. Tricky Brits.

Thank you Paul

When I first really started to get into films, Paul Newman was one of my favorite actors...Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.

I'm starting to feel old when all these actors I grew up with are dropping off, and concerned that there are only throngs of Hanna Montanas to replace them.

I'm voting Republican, so I can go to Iran

Came back from a trip overseas (where news about the corporate bailout took up a generous chunk), but was pleased to see some videos relayed my way, as they were the juicy bits of email wheat in an otherwise sea of chaff.

One of these videos convinced me to vote Republican. It just feels so much cozier...so I can stay in Iraq...so I can go to Iran!

The other, well, it's a great tidbit of our nation's most fav high functioning moron.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shepard Fairey drops a bomb...paints the bomb?

Probably best known for his 'Obey' work, which features a stylized rendition of Andre the Giant's face, Shepard Fairey is now a tad more mainstream, albeit in making some provocative pieces pertaining to BushCo, the war on terror, free (or lack there of) speech, all inspiring critical thought. He's got a show going in SF right now at WhiteWallsSF.

Reminds me that I need to replace a button on my pants

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button looks good. I totally dig David Fincher as a director. Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, and Tilda Swinton star in the adapted for screen F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story, which also happens to be available online.

Seems like a nice December-timed release. We'll have a new President by then, and hopefully a new direction. Perhaps we can run the clock back on the moral and ethical decay BushCo laid down, and return to youthful, yet savvy and sound country.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palin's yahoo email password is 'password'

Or something close no doubt. Some moderately clever evil-doers hacked her yahoo account.

What's so funny about it (or sad depending on how you look at it) was that she was using it to conduct public (read: as an elected official) communications.
Palin's chief of staff, Michael Nizich, sent her an e-mail August 22 with the subject line, "Using Royalty Oil to Lower the Cost of Fuel for Alaskans." The subject line of another e-mail from Nizich reads "CONFIDENTIAL Ethics Matter."
The technical grasp of the GOP nominees is coming across as strikingly and shockingly subpar.

I'm vying for a spot in a reality show

Finally my love of the thespian arena and gaming intersect with MTV Networks, Spike TV, and Microsoft Corporation partnership to bring a bunch of dorks together in "...a real-life televised Gears of War 2 adventure."

I've submitted my questionnaire and emailed in the pitch entailing why I should be a member of Delta Squad.
"...just like in the game, challenges, tough decisions and sacrifices stand in the path of victory. In a fast paced reality show that feels like an alternate reality game brought to life, your team must work together to reach the ultimate goal: Becoming the first gamers in the world to play through the entire saga of Gears of War 2 in early October."
In light of Patton Oswalt's piece on George Lucas, my geekiness is getting in the way of my nerdiness.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I can see Russia from my house...

Thank you Tina Fey.

Housekeeping or precursor to The Road?

A nice summation of the current state of the economy from SFGate:
WINNERS: Bank of America: Buys Merrill Lynch in a shotgun sale for $50 billion, creating the largest U.S. financial services company. Warren Buffett: His insurance holdings stand to benefit from AIG's weakened position, and he could buy some or all of the company at a big discount. Taxpayers: The federal government refuses to throw financial lifelines to Lehman Bros. or AIG that could have put taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in bad loans. It also refuses to pay the ousted chief executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac up to $24 million in exit packages.

LOSERS: Merrill Lynch: One of the best-known and most respected companies in American history vanishes overnight in a desperate sale to Bank of America. Lehman Bros.: It survived the Civil War and the Great Depression, but it can't escape the credit crisis and files for bankruptcy protection as it closes. Washington Mutual: The Seattle thrift was flying high amid the real estate boom, but it crashes just as spectacularly. Now it reportedly looks for a buyer as it tries to avoid insolvency.
HOSERS: Current Presidential nominees.

Can we finally put the whole lipstick-gate thing behind us? No one owns that word, and who gives a damn if she can field dress a moose? It's not like living in AK gives Palin years of valuable foreign policy experience.

I don't care about her baby and her baby having babies, or McCain delivering sermons on how he's more patriotic than Obama, I care about getting the economy stabilized, the job market improved, and the perception of Americans improved in the international sector. It's a sad state of affairs when the majority of Americans buy into the political campaigning and spin doctoring designed to cast candidates in more favorable light, especially when it detracts from 'real issues'. And please GOP/McCain campaingers...spare us the all the 'elite media' tripe you've been spewing. Just because you're not the loveable darling now that Dubya and Cheney salted it for you, doesn't mean you need to whine.
Thank you Dilbert. You so wonderfully characterizes the legacy of the Bush administration, and what we'll [hopefully] be recovering from in the next Presidential term.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Using internet = System Architect Commander Leader

Sweet! Living in AK gives Palin insight into foreign policy! Wow! I was under the impression that her insight was limited to the depth of a moose colon! Silly me!

McCain in the Membrane ya'll!

Hi! I'm BART one-point-oh

WTF BART? You make a new website that's awesome and kinda 2.0-ey, and then you start considering hiking fares *again* during high commute times?

Hey! I've got an idea! If the current system is rated to support 500,000 daily riders, and there are only 370,000 at present, and officials are saying that 500k is pushing it why don't we add more trains which lessen wait times and train load concerns?

Yeah! Then BART would be less crowded, have more available trains LIKE OTHER METRO RAIL SYSTEMS.

This just in: don't penalize people for taking public transportation! And if you're going to hike rates, at least offer some kind of value to commuters...yes, it's going to cost a little more, but trains run more frequently and you might actually be able to sit once a month instead of always crushing into the human mass of armpit vapor punctuated with the occasional mystery fart.

Maybe BART should spend less time/money developing the leak-proof coffee cup that doesn't work well, and more time thinking about how to improve operations while providing cost and environmentally conscious riders an alternative to driving.

I'm just saying, if that's what your standards are

My bestest buddy Gabe hooked me up with Patton Oswalt's "Werewolves and Lollipops" album that we'd listened to while driving down to Big Sur, where we TOTALLY saw Natalie Portman, for some beer drinking...er...camping with another old school homie.

Gee, gosh, darn he's funny. Ross prefers Jim Gaffigan, and characterized Patton as edgier, but not as funny.

While Jim has some good stuff, I really dig on Patton's political sensibilities. Take his 'The Dukes of Hazzard' piece. Brilliant.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

Oh this is going to be glorious. I won't go into the drama surrounding the licensing issues that have been plaguing this game, but it appears the dust has settled, and it's going to be called F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.

What was the first F.E.A.R, and what the hell does that acronym mean? First Encounter Assault Response. Think of the X-files directed by John Woo combined with aspects of the Clone Wars, Resident Evil, and the Japanese horror elements present in movies such as The Ring. You play as a nameless badass and terminate the cloned army of some psychic lab child born in DARPA-shrouded secrecy. One of the coolest gameplay mechanics was the use of "reflex time", which was another way of saying "bullet time". Employing this tool shifted the visual spectrum a tad, particle modeling increases, enemies moved slower, but you moved faster, enabling you to bust caps on a platoon sized onslaught of gun-toting automatons.

At the end of the first game there's a huge explosion and you're rescued via helicopter.

There were some lackluster expansion packs that I never played, but this sequel picks up right after the end of the first game, and continues to explore the mysterious little girl, Alma, who's since been freed from the confines described in the first game.

Environments seemed to have been reportedly improved, as the first game suffered from little deviation in terrain and atmosphere. The gore factor has been drastically ramped up, and there are some crazy new weapons.

The title is scheduled to release 2-10-09 in the States. I'm so excited to get my fear on.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Search algorithm and heuristics...not quite there

A very honest question, to be sure, and unfortunately I don't think this visitor found what s/he was looking for when they arrived at a post I had on Obama.

At least the post has some decent indexing, or perhaps had their mind in the gutter about next President-elect?

Show me your privacy...now!

Feel good about your privacy? This recent CNET article highlights how the current administration (read: NSA) exploits loopholes that allows them to profile individuals using the intermediary communication providers between primary service providers.
The massive collection of customer data comes down to the interplay of two specific issues: First, thousands of companies play small, niche support roles in the wireless phone industry, and as such these firms learn quite a bit about the calling habits of millions of U.S. citizens. Second, the laws relating to information sharing and wiretapping specifically regulate companies that provide services to the general public (such as AT&T and Verizon), but they do not cover the firms that provide services to the major carriers or connect communications companies to one other.
With the passage of laws like the FISA Amendments Act and the USA Patriot Act, in most cases, requests for customer information come with a gag order, forbidding the companies from notifying the public, or the end users whose calling information is being snooped upon.
So any entity--from tower provider, to a third-party spam filter, to WAP gateway operator to billing to call center customer service--can [...] be compelled to assist in silence. They likely don't volunteer because of reputation and contractual obligations, but they won't resist either.
That means that Jack Bauer may come visit you to administer electro-shock therapy to your nipples should you be selected for profiling, and targeted for...evaluation.

Who would play Kuato?

PS: some of you on the Google Groups might have noticed some jerkface assclown spammed the group with some porn themed postings. I've since reported them to the Google Hive. Let's see what happens. I'd originally left the group open so anyone could post, but I've now restricted it. The internets are an amazing place that we each have to police. Let's make the world a better place...one keystroke at a time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

BART 2.0

I'm digging the new BART site redesign and improved functionality.

They finally made their service consider the fact that some people need to plan a trip from a location close to a BART station to another station or to another nearby location by a station.

That's a lot of "ay-shun", and is total alliteration.
I'm prone to roll employing loquation, and in kindergarten I hated equations.
Missed the Cuban missile crisis and threats of nuclear obliteration.
Before I handle food, I conduct a thorough ablution.
Sarah Palin promotes theory of creation, while abstinence didn't deter her younger generation from fornication...

I digress....where was I?

Before, a site user had to copy and paste address information to find the nearest station, then go through another step of selection that station and the other end point, which was a total pain in the 'a'.

Now when I want to find out the closest station and route to the new California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, while also planning my trip itinerary from my starting BART station to the closest station near the Academy, I can do it all in one step!

They also have an embedded quick planner widget now.

Everything's coming up Milhouse.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Why John Stewart makes it nice

I've seen this on a few different sites, but being that I'm limited to basic cable I enjoy John Stewart episodes streamed over the internets.

Here's one that nails Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Dick Morris, and some other d-bags.
I'd love to see one with Sarah Palin and her views on religion and the separation of Church and State, and how effective abstinence is as the sole option in sex education for adolescents.

Hatey...it's not just a country

I heart the GOP and all its southern voters who embody the divisive nature of politics, as they pander to the least-common denominatin' cracka-ass-cracka in the hopes of beating the dead horse that we call 'fear-based politics'.

The newest flounder?
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville, Ga., described the Obamas as members of an "elitist-class ... that thinks that they're uppity," according to The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper.
I'm guessing that shortly after his press conference Westmoreland immediately felt hungry after having spitting so much hateful venom, and felt intense pangs of regret for the now almost defunct Sambo's restaraunt chain.

When pressed the next day about making the comment he said
...he didn't know that "uppity" was commonly used as a derogatory term for blacks seeking equal treatment. Instead, he referred to the dictionary definition of the word as describing someone who is haughty, snobbish or has inflated self-esteem.
Sooo...it's ok then to use the dictionary term of a word, disavow any cracka-ass-cracka connotations (even though he is a Suthin' gentleman, and lived in the region before and after the Civil Rights movement), and adamantly indicate that if he had to do it again he'd use the same word? That's awesome. Seems fair to ding Michelle Obama for taking her 'for the first time I feel proud to be an American' remark out of context and lambast her.

I cannot wait until we breed hatey people like this out of the gene-pool. Here's to Lynn's kids marrying a non-Anglo, so he can learn to love his "uppity" grandkids.

Man this porn looks good

Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith come together to make a movie? Oh sweet celluoid nectar of the silver screen...er...my TV at home, I cannot wait to revel in your extra-feature laden DVD.

To have the Apple guy say the words "more like Glen and Gary suck Ross's giant meaty c--k" just sucks the blood out of your inner Miss Nancy's complexion.

Thankfully, the film ended up garnering an R instead of the dreaded NC-17.

Incidentally, for more insight on how movies receive ratings (and for an interview with Kevin Smith on how he had to fight for R ratings for Clerks), I highly recommend the documentary, This Film is Not Yet Rated.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

There was an RNC?

What is so great about Sarah Palin, other than the fact that she looks better than Joe Biden?

The malarky surrounding the recent Republican convention was downright hilarity. Since when does a lame-ass VP-nominee feel the need to take shots at the Presidential nominee, especially when she one-ups Obama on the whole 'inexperience' issue.
She is younger and less experienced than the first-term Illinois senator, and brings an ethical shadow to the ticket. A governor for just 20 months, she was two-term mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town of 6,500 where the biggest issue is controlling growth and the biggest civic worry is whether there will be enough snow for the Iditarod dog-mushing race.
The pick earned McCain praise Friday from evangelicals and other social conservatives who have been skeptical of him. "Conservatives will be thrilled with this pick," said Greg Mueller, a conservative GOP strategist.

The price for that support could be high. Palin's lack of experience undercuts GOP charges that Obama is not ready to be commander in chief. McCain said in April that he was determined to avoid a pick like Dan Quayle, the little-known Indiana senator whom George H.W. Bush put on his ticket in 1988. The choice proved embarrassing.
Her comment about Obama, talking one way to some voters and a different way to others was laughable. I'd have liked to see her deliver the same style speech she gave at her old Pentecostal church.
"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
"I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.
I recommend you check out the link to that speech, as there's a charming video that allows for a more visceral experience of the crazy. The pastor, Ed Kalnins? He makes Barack Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright look like Mother Teresa.
What you see in a terrorist -- that's called the invisible enemy. There has always been an invisible enemy. What you see in Iraq, basically, is a manifestation of what's going on in this unseen world called the spirit world. ... We need to think like Jesus thinks. We are in a time and a season of war, and we need to think like that. We need to develop that instinct. We need to develop as believers the instinct that we are at war, and that war is contending for your faith. ... Jesus called us to die. You're worried about getting hurt? He's called us to die. Listen, you know we can't even follow him unless you are willing to give up your life. ... I believe that Jesus himself operated from that position of war mode. Everyone say "war mode." Now you say, wait a minute Ed, he's like the good shepherd, he's loving all the time and he's kind all the time. Oh yes he is -- but I also believe that he had a part of his thoughts that knew that he was in a war.
Interestingly enough, the Wasilla Assembly of God website is now unavailable except for the holy cache. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the McCain-Palin campaign leaders made a quick call up to AK and had to enact some damage control. Odd how we're not seeing any media backlash on this one, though. Dare I suggest that Ed's comments aren't perceived as inflammatory because he's white, and more in line with the current administration's take on the "War on Terror"?

So hurray for the Palin nomination! Thanks Sarah, for making the current Republican party seem like a bunch of angry, fearful, hateful wackjobs. It makes it easier for everyone on election day.

I, like George Washington, favor a heady dose of the separation of Church and State...otherwise, y'know...we get all fundamentally suicidally and killy-like. Just like those terrorists your pastor denegrates!
Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.
(George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 726.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chrome, you're the chromiest

Chrome is good...aside from the whole theological takeover parody I suggested, the browser is sweet. My favorite is the 'stats for nerds' tool, which lets nerd nerd it up in the nerdiest way possible. You will note that I am probably a nerd given the Wikipedia page open in this scenario.
Pretty cool stuff. As one comment I saw on ars, Chrome has "the snappy". It opens fast, pages render fast, and there's some clever architecture built into it to make the search experience better. I can see Ubiquity-like features on the horizon. I like how if one tab crashes, the multi-thread architecture [supposedly] limits the amputation to the affected tab, and not the entire browser session.
Google even went ahead and put together a clever stylized online googlebook with renderings of the developers explaining the design approach and some of Chrome underpinnings and why it works the way it does. It's open-source, so folks can add features and fixes as with Mozilla's Firefox.
Evil, clever bastards.

Google forays with a new open-source religion

Bolstered by its continued success in generating billions of ad dollars, strong brand recognition, the creation of an iPhone competitor (based on the Android platform), its forthcoming new browser (with long-term competitors being IE, FF, Safari, and Opera), Google has finally decided to offer its version of theology.

Google's PR department released this statement:
"It's going to be an open-sourced model that allows faith-followers to synergistically strengthen their core beliefs with a ubiquitous de-centralized deity. It's based on the OpenSocial API, which is the foundation for a host of successful web appliances, namely Orkut. We realized that in order to be true to the mantra 'don't be evil', we would need to create a new theological construct in order to legitimize more aggressive revenue-generating advertising models. In addition, we believe that we have something new to offer certain members of various demographics who find themselves removed or disconnected from reality.

As part of an extended development process, our team conducted focus groups with [among others] Second Life denizens, as well as individuals tinkering with cybernetic implants and found that while people enjoy their metaphysical experiences there is a certain degree of spiritual emptiness as we have not yet been able to reduce the human soul to a binary expression, nor digitally quantifying the aforementioned emptiness.

With much experimentation, we discovered as a way to accomplish these tasks, and in doing so, uncovering the means to similarly generate a host appliance capable of monitoring and upgrading soul programs, thereby improving the quality of virtual life. Sergey and Larry dubbed this host: DaemonLord, in a sentimental gesture to a long-lived family of processes well-known in those versed in computer science concepts.

Beta-users of DaemonLord will receive secure access to the development site, and complementary surgery to integrate proprietary mechanisms designed to facilitate the entry into the virtual environment, nicknamed Temple. As the user spends more time in Temple, his or her body would normally atrophy, however Google is committed to maintaining both a healthy body and virtua-soul, so initial testers will be configured with electrical stimulation in order to prevent physical decay.

We plan on maintaining DaemonLord and Temple by the revenue generated by users within the environment, as micro-transactions (similar to papal indulgences) and various implementations of the existing AdSense and AdWords platforms."
Needless to say, there's been some explosive responses from the general user community. Religious leaders have yet to release a formalized comment on the situation, but President Gee-dub did have these questions:
"So...if I snort some of that digitalized nose dust in that there etherland of pagan goodness, will it come up in my pee-pee test that I have to take for Uncle Dick every month?"
"Does this mean that I can hook up with Sarah Palin in this new-fangled Temple thang? I'm tryin' to talk Laura into a threesome! Man, that Sarah could moose-wrestle me into submission any Temple session!"